If you ever wondered how a Korean drama could be cool and sexy, you’ve got to try Que Sera Sera. I’m finding it both (particularly in Tae Joo-Hye Rin scenes) — it’s so interestingly different.
SONG OF THE DAY
Alex – “Night Time” Ending theme, sung by Alex of Clazziquai [ zShare download ]
EPISODE 4 SUMMARY
So Tae Joo is taken completely off-guard by Eun Soo’s request for another kiss. In an instant, he goes from self-satisfied to uneasy and defensive. He stutters, “N-no.” Eun Soo asks why not, and he shouts, “Just because!”
Unsettled, he tries to ignore Eun Soo as he takes the long walk back to his apartment. Once in the safety of his bachelor pad, he wonders, “What’s with her? And why am I the one feeling flustered?”
The next morning, Tae Joo’s shooting hoops alone on the rooftop when he runs into Eun Soo, who’s there to take out the trash. While she’s watching, he tries to coolly walk away without acknowledging her, but as soon as she’s out of sight, he makes a mad dash for the elevators and hurriedly pushes the “close door” button, trying to avoid another awkward elevator ride. But Eun Soo, not entirely unlike the Terminator, advances and forces her way into the elevator.
She demands to know why Tae Joo’s angry with her — after all, he’s the one who kissed her, and now he’s ignoring her. She asks him, point-blank, “Why did you kiss me? Do you like me?” Tae Joo dismisses her by telling her not to push it. In the hallway, Eun Soo follows and persists:
Eun Soo: “You must have had a reason. You don’t just do that to anybody.”
Tae Joo: “You really don’t know?”
Eun Soo: “I don’t know.”
Tae Joo: “You’d never done it before. But there you were, insisting you had. It was too sad to watch, and I’m the soft-hearted type.”
Eun Soo: “So?”
Tae Joo: “So I thought I’d do it for this pitiful person, with a self-sacrificing spirit.”
Eun Soo: “So… you were playing with me?”
Tae Joo: “Let’s call it sympathy.”
Eun Soo’s crushed to hear this. As she walks away, Tae Joo calls after her, asking what the problem is since she liked it too. Insulted, Eun Soo takes a running start and hits Tae Joo square in the chest, calls him a jerk, then runs off.
Eun Soo and Tae Joo meet again at World Department Store, where Tae Joo is coordinating a fashion show and Eun Soo is working. Although she apologizes for her behavior in the morning, Tae Joo is in no mood to be accommodating, and walks off saying, “Now I find you scary.”
However, at his show, they’re one model short. With the event about to start and the department store executives all in attendance, Tae Joo can only think of one person to ask, and goes to Eun Soo. At first, he makes it seem like he’s doing her a favor, offering her 3 manwon for 30 minutes ($30). Eun Soo’s thankful for the gesture, but can’t leave her shift and turns him down. Tae Joo tries to convince her, and eventually has to admit he’ll be in trouble if he can’t find someone. (“The show’s about to start and we’re one model short. It’s an emergency. I’m in a bind.”) He asks her to do it as a favor and ups her asking price to 10 manwon ($100), and Eun Soo says, fighting her own smiles, “Buy me dinner. Ajusshi, if you buy me dinner tonight, I’ll do it.”
The girl may look completely naive, but she isn’t completely clueless! He tells her he’ll meet her outside the store later that night.
So Eun Soo stands in as a makeup model, testing a face mask while the fashion portion of the show proceeds. Tae Joo notices her fidgeting onstage, and asks her what’s wrong. She says her face stings, and he tells her to quietly walk offstage.
Backstage, he takes off her mask and sees that half of her face is entirely covered in red spots. He blows up at her, asking how she could just sit there doing nothing — if she’d stayed there till the end, she would’ve ruined the event. Who wants to buy a product that does that to one of its models? Eun Soo says he’d told her all she had to do was sit still — but he can’t believe she’d stay there, looking like that.
Eun Soo: “How would I have known what my face looks like? I don’t even know that now. I thought it always hurts like that! I thought if held it in, it would be okay!”
Tae Joo: “How can you hold back something like that?!”
Eun Soo: “I thought you’d get into trouble. You said it was important, asked for my help. So I wanted to help you, by holding it in even if it hurt.”
Tae Joo’s taken by surprise and doesn’t know how to respond, so he just yells at her to stop crying. Eun Soo leaves, and wonders to herself why he got so angry when he asked for her help. “But he’ll still keep our plans, right?”
Tae Joo has a meeting with Hye Rin’s office, but offends her when he says they should utilize her background as much as possible when publicizing her show. Use her beauty and her position as the second-generation chaebol (being the daughter of a corporation president) to arouse people’s interest, and spread the word naturally. Hye Rin coolly tells him they won’t be needing his services after all.
Upset and confused, Tae Joo follows Hye Rin to her car and asks what her problem is. Hye Rin tells him she’s going to succeed on her own terms, on the merits of her talent, without using daddy’s name. Tae Joo notes her self-righteousness in this stance, pointing out that she’s already used her connections to get this far, so why is she acting so superior? Other people start out in difficulty and work their way up, but Hye Rin debuted as a designer and has her own store, all because of who she is. He tells her if she truly wants to succeed, she should give up her misguided sense of pride.
And Hye Rin leaves Tae Joo by the side of the highway.
At the department store, Eun Soo waits for Tae Joo out in the cold.
Tae Joo arrives at home and runs into Ji Soo, who asks him where Eun Soo is. Wasn’t he supposed to be out having dinner with her? Tae Joo realizes he stood her up, and calls her while she’s on the bus home. Eun Soo sounds resigned, but when she gets off the phone, she smiles as she saves his number in her phone.
At the bus stop, Eun Soo finds Tae Joo waiting for her. Eun Soo just walks on, so Tae Joo follows behind, and in a roundabout sort of way tells her how he had a rough day at work — he obviously feels bad, but can’t get around to saying it.
(An interesting thing I’ve found about their interactions is that often, one of them is walking on while the other follows — that’s the constant, while the variable is the matter of who’s following whom, and for what reason. Half the time Tae Joo’s trying to escape Eun Soo, and the other half, he’s following her because he feels bad for something. It’s an interesting push-pull dynamic that I find very realistic, because something is always shifting, changing, and one bad conversation can tilt the balance back and forth between them.)
Tae Joo finally gets around to saying he’s sorry, and Eun Soo finally looks up at him to say: “I’m hungry.”
Over dinner and soju, Eun Soo once again asks why he kissed her, and he once again dismisses it. Eun Soo tells him her personality is the type to say whatever’s on her mind — she’s not one to hide anything. So: “Let’s date. You and me.”
Now it’s Tae Joo’s turn to drink. He tells her she’s got the wrong idea from that kiss — she should try looking for someone else.
Eun Soo: “However I look at it, the only person I want to kiss is you.”
Tae Joo: “Do you think we suit each other?”
Eun Soo: “Yes.”
Tae Joo: “That’s what you think. You’re far from my type. Your background, looks, personality. Dating should be between people who suit each other, whose feelings match.”
Eun Soo: “Then why did you kiss me??”
Tae Joo: “That again! Sorry. That was my mistake. I won’t ever do that again. Satisfied?”
Upset, Eun Soo runs off, leaving Tae Joo behind.
Hye Rin changes her mind and calls Tae Joo, bringing him back to coordinate her fashion show. Afterward, Tae Joo congratulates her and tells her she’ll do well — seeing as how she could give up her pride a bit, there’s hope for her yet. Tae Joo briefly meets Joon Hyuk, who barely has anything to do this episode, before leaving them to talk.
Joon Hyuk: “Hye Rin, whatever happened between us, I still love and value you; that hasn’t changed. You’re my family. I’m sincere when I say I want to become the best older brother to you.”
Hye Rin asks if his feelings can just easily follow his mind. She also warns him that he should remember his position in the company. She’s not interested in the department store (insinuating that his high position there has only been enabled by her lack of interest in it), but her future husband may be different. Joon Hyuk could be cut out at any moment. To which he replies: “I’ll do my best to help your husband. And if I’m still cut out, there’s nothing I can do.”
(I have to say, I was impressed with Joon Hyuk’s answer, and his composure.)
Hye Rin calls Tae Joo up to her suite in the hotel (where the fashion show is held), and the following scene is a roller coaster of reversals. The chemistry between them is also off the charts, as they dance their way around their mutual attraction, distaste, and everything in between.
Hye Rin starts off the conversation with business — she wants to hire him to take on a new project at an increased salary — but Tae Joo doesn’t fall for it. He wants to know her real reason for inviting him — you don’t call up people at parties like this to a hotel suite intending to talk business. She asks: “Do you think I called you here to seduce you?” If so, he’s completely misunderstood. Tae Joo says in that case, her actions invite misinterpretation. As they’re face-to-face and practically breathing each other’s air, Tae Joo tells her: “Don’t confuse yourself. I’m not at all disappointed.”
He walks off, and Hye Rin asks, “Then why did you come?” He responds that he was curious to see what kind of methods she’d use. The only way to find out was to go see for himself, and he’s naturally a curious person. “But, if that’s not your intention, what in the world are you doing?”
Hye Rin finds him interesting, and he says, “Life is short. Let’s have fun, enjoy it, then die. This is my life’s motto.”
Hye Rin: “And what if I really were trying to seduce you?”
Tae Joo: “I’m really curious. Well, let’s find out for ourselves, if you really want to know.”
He leans over her, then says:
“Don’t bluff and try to act strong. I find that boring.”
He moves away, and Hye Rin grabs him and kisses him.
And after all these twists and turns, underneath all this posturing and bravado, we finally get to the point: Hye Rin tells him she needs a fiance. She doesn’t want a repeat of her aborted marriage plans that we saw in Episode 1. She’d rather die than be forced into an arranged marriage.
She asks him to play the role of her fiance in a way that would fool the entire world. He asks if that’s why she kissed him, and Hye Rin answers that if she’s going to have to play the part, she’s got to feel some attraction. And kissing him wasn’t so bad.
As Clazziquai’s “Tattoo” plays, Tae Joo responds: “What do we do? I found it pretty dull. Playing the fiance for a woman I don’t feel anything for doesn’t seem like much fun.” Hye Rin asks what he wants from her, and he says he doesn’t want anything, he’s not interested. [ zShare download ]
He thanks her for at least revealing her true motives. Now that he’s satisfied his curiosity, he can leave. And he does.
(I find Hye Rin understandable, but rather on the immature side. She believes she’s a capable, intelligent person, but she’s pretty much always gotten her way. Now she’s got two men whom she’s finding hard to push around, and so she resorts to these somewhat convoluted and bratty ways of manipulating them. When she can’t, she tries to push their buttons or upset them, and gets annoyed when she fails. I still find her likable, despite this, but I do like seeing her coming up empty in these transactions, and seeing the men respond coolly to her attempts to ruffle their feathers.)
Tae Joo arrives at home to find police officers awaiting his return. Apparently, a drunken and hurt Eun Soo reported him to the police for inappropriate/lewd conduct, citing the incident in the elevator. The conversation between Tae Joo and the police officer is pretty amusing, as both try to define what inappropriate conduct entails and why Tae Soo’s elevator kiss was/wasn’t so.
So Tae Joo goes to see a thoroughly inebriated Eun Soo, and asks her why she reported him — she even said she liked it. He bristles at her revisionist story when she says she didn’t like it; she was just innocently standing in the elevator.
She walks out to go back to the police station, and Tae Joo follows, as she intends to report him again — this time for assault, since he just grabbed her arm and gave her a bruise.
Tae Joo: “What is it you want?”
Eun Soo: “I want you to go to jail.”
Tae Joo: “What horrible crime did I commit? I already said I was sorry.”
Eun Soo: “That’s not something you can end with a simple sorry. Playing around with someone’s heart is a truly awful act. I’m going to send you away to prison, so you can’t ever vicitimize anyone else!”
Eun Joo walks off, and Tae Joo grabs her hand. She keeps walking, and he keeps holding her back, but both have lost the energy or will to complete their actions, and Eun Soo walks in a drunken circle around him. It’s strangely moving.
Eun Soo cries. “I like you. I like you so much. I didn’t mean to…. I wanted to forget… but I feel for you down through to my fingertips… so I just can’t forget.”
The next morning, Eun Soo runs into Tae Joo as she leaves for work, but can’t face him in her embarrassment, and runs away. But he catches her anyway. He starts off by scolding her for her behavior, and she says she’s sorry, she must’ve been temporarily insane, and she’ll go cancel the police report.
“Lemon” by W plays as Tae Joo follows Eun Soo to the bus stop:
[ zShare download ]
Tae Joo: “Do you have some time tonight?
Eun Soo: “Why?”
Tae Joo: “Last time, I was supposed to buy you dinner, but I only ended up buying you rice-soup. That’s not the proper way to treat someone who’d troubled herself for me.
Eun Soo doesn’t respond.
Tae Soo: “I guess you’re busy… Well, there’s nothing I can do, then—”
Eun Soo: “I’m not busy. I have lots of time.”
Tae Joo: “I’ll call you.”
And he walks off.Eric, Jung Yumi, Que Sera Sera